They are already agitating for some aspects of Islamic law. What will keep them from the rest? How can the reporter be so sure that they have little interest in holy war — or even if they don’t now, how can be be sure what they will think in 10 years? From Reuters, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (Reuters) – Islam has joined a battle for the hearts and minds of Mexico’s volatile Tzotzil Indians in Chiapas state, home of Zapatista rebels and a hotbed of sectarian strife between Christians.
In an unlikely meeting of two worlds, an idealistic Muslim sect has converted some 300 Tzotzils, a Maya Indian group known for drink-fueled fiestas and religious fervor.
“It was difficult to learn the prayers in Arabic at first but now I have them in my heart,” said Muhammad Emin Lopez, 46, a Tzotzil fruit merchant who boasts that his conversion to Islam in 1995 was the state’s first.
He prays five times a day as required in Islam, has gone on the obligatory “haj” pilgrimage to Mecca and attends a small mosque in a cornfield on the outskirts of the hill town of San Cristobal de las Casas.
Beside the mosque, a Tzotzil woman dressed in colorful Indian garb and known by the Muslim name Karima washes clothes in a stream near ramshackle wooden houses.
The growth of Islam in such a restive area has raised the eyebrows of Mexico’s intelligence agency, wary of possible terrorist activity aimed at the neighboring United States.
But the Tzotzil Muslims have little interest in holy war, having seen religious and political conflict close up….
They are highly critical of the charging of interest rates as un-Islamic and advocate scrapping currencies, taxes and the nation state, to be replaced with Islamic emirates trading in gold coins.
“Our model is not ideological or utopian but is based on the life of our Prophet Mohammad,” reads a statement on the group’s Mexican web site, http://www.islammexico.org.mx.